In Your Bible Read This Out Loud: Genesis 4:1-16
Memorise This Verse: Genesis 15:11 ‘Then birds of prey came down on the carcasses, but Abram drove them away
Afterwards Talk About This: Some of the lies the devil will use to stop people from giving offerings
Something To Do Before Next Time: Ask God to clearly show you what offerings he wants you to make
Written Diploma Work: Write one side on why both God and the devil are so interested in our offerings.
Meditate Word By Word On This Verse: Hebrews 11:4
We saw previously that offerings have tremendous spiritual power and that God literally cannot resist an offering and will reward those who sow offerings to him. Due to the spiritual dynamic that is attached to offerings they attract not only the power of God but also fierce resistance from the devil. Offerings are consequently fought against and contested by the devil, as when an offering is eventually released from someone’s hand, the blessing is released from God’s hand.
Between the time that God speaks to someone about making an offering, and the time the offering is finally released, there can be intense warfare released against that person. The devil will surely seek to sow ugly thoughts of fear and doubt in a desperate attempt to prevent the offering from being released. Below are 4 biblical examples of when offerings were resisted and contended by the devil and how he used human agents who were submitted to him to fight against the releasing of the offerings.
1. Cain and Abel – Genesis 4:1-16
The first reference to a significant offering is that offered by Abel. (In fact, this offering is so significant that Hebrews 11:4 shows that this was a great act of faith and that God spoke well of his offering. Surely it will be a wonderful blessing on judgement day for those whom God will speak well of the financial offerings they made whilst they were on the earth.)
Having released such a quality offering, the devil sought to prevent the blessing reaching Abel and he works through Cain to kill Abel and break the power of his offering. 1 John 3:12 explicitly states that Cain was submitted to, and even belonged to Satan and he used Cain to contend and fight against the very first offering that was given to God. It is very interesting to note that the very first offering in the bible led to the very first murder in the bible. Just as God cannot resist rewarding an offering, the devil cannot resist fighting against an offering.
2. Abram – Genesis 15:1-20
Here, God requires sacrificial offerings from Abram which would eventually lead to God walking through the offerings and confirming his word to Abram. Abram prepares his offerings, however, verse 11 says that the birds of prey came down to steal away the offerings and Abram has to contend with them and drive them away. In the parable of the sower in Mark 4:4, Jesus likens the powers of darkness to birds who snatch away the word of God sown into people’s hearts. Consequently, is it not unreasonable to suggest that Abrams’s offering was attacked physically, but also spiritually by the devil who sought to prevent Abram from making the offering? Abram resists the attack and makes his offering – it pleases God so much that the glory of God actually walked between the offerings; God cannot resist an offering!
3. Mary – John 12:1-11
As Mary prepares to release a large offering of some expensive perfume upon Jesus, she also has her offering contended with by the devil, who again used a human agent. This human agent is Judas – who undoubtedly was submitted to the devil as John 13:27 shows that Satan eventually entered into him and led him to betray Jesus. As Mary releases the offering the mocking voice of Judas seeks to rubbish her offering but the Lord Jesus himself rebukes Judas and justifies Mary and her offering. In fact, in the parallel passage in Mark 14:9, Jesus says that this large offering will be preached into the whole world in memory of what she did. The same is true today – if anyone prepares to release a large offering upon Jesus the mocking voice of the devil will try and persuade them not to do it. However, when someone defies the taunts of the devil and persists in releasing their offering then, like Mary, they will be justified by Jesus.
4. Ananias & Sapphira – Acts 5:1-11
The final offering that is resisted by Satan is the awful story of Ananias and Sapphira. Sadly, not only did Ananias bring his offering and lay it at the Apostle’s feet, but he brings a lie with his offering and holds back part of the money. Again, that Ananias was submitted to the devil there can be no doubt as Peter rebukes him when he says in verse 3 ‘How is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit’.
Prior to this point the church was multiplying and experiencing both numerical and financial increase. As such the devil was desperate to oppose this growth and he goes straight for the offering due to the spiritual dynamic that is attached to it. Satan successfully contaminates and defiles the offering of Ananias and Sapphira and both are struck down dead and the early church suffers it’s first major spiritual attack from the powers of darkness.
So the offering is a tremendously powerful spiritual tool that is of intense interest to both God and the devil. We have seen that those who ignore the resistance of the devil and proceed to release their offering they receive the blessing of God – such as Abram and Mary. We have seen that when the devil is successful in fighting against the offering it leads to physical death – as we saw in the 3 cases of Abel, Ananias and Sapphira.
A House of Prayer for the Poorer Nations
Pray for Madagascar
15,941,727 people, 47% Christian.
Church infiltrated with ancestor worship and witchcraft
Great need for Bible based Training schools.
This study contains the personal beliefs and practices of of the author who recommends them to the reader. The author takes no credit for their success where applied and likewise takes no responsibility for any failure or disappointment.
The House of Prayer for the Poorer Nations at the end of each section is based on Operation World 21st Century Edition © Patrick Johnstone, Jason Mandryk. Published by Paternoster. All scriptures are NIV © Hodder & Stoughton.